Broke College Vegan 101
Tips for the vegan college students. The most typical breed of Cheap Vegans. Mom and Dad can´t tell you what to do anymore. The dining hall is your oyster!
Here are some tips on being a Cheap Vegan in College:
- Use your meal plan. If you´re a freshman or sophomore they´re probably making you buy one anyway, get your moneys worth. Colleges are obligated to have food for all different diets, make sure your school knows there is a demand for vegan food if there isn´t much to pick from.
The salad bar always has fresh fruits and veggies. These are also great for cooking once you´re back at the dorm or a snack between classes. Take a big ziplock freezerbag with you and pack up your 2nd buffet plate. (But I totally didn´t say that….)
- Make a budget. My budget is what keeps me cheap. My personality is far from your regular cheapo. I like eating out, I like being generous with my money, and I like taking cabs home after I was dancing all night, the budget is what keeps me from going overboard. The most important part of budgeting is timing. If you know friends are coming in to town next weekend, live really cheap the week before. Think of it as rollover money.
- Find a friend. It can be awkward being the only vegan, even worse if you´re the only one who even eats vegetables at all. Find someone to share your vegan things with. They don´t have to be vegetarian, just someone happy to go to a vegan restaurant or bake vegan cupcakes with you.
- Join your Campus Vegan Club. Don´t have any friends? That´s ok! Try joining a veg club. If there isn´t one at your school yet start one! Too much responsibility? Maybe just host a screening of a veg-related documentary or mand a table on a meatless monday. You´d be surprised how many people will come up to you that are interested, especially if you give out free food. Free food is a great way to attract a crowd and you can sometimes get it donated from local restaurants that offer vegan dishes. (This also gets you a free lunch!)
- Carry a granola bar at all times. In college I kept a granola bar in my backpack, in my luggage, even in my purse(s…) You never know when you´ll be at the library later than you thought or stuck underground on your way back from class. Granola bars don´t go bad for a long time and are a good hold me over snacks. My personal favorite are LUNA and CLIFF bars.
**Be careful when choosing bars, many have high sugar content and are almost as bad as a cookie.
- Pack your meals. It´s expensive to eat out but in college you can be forced to pretty frequently. Late nights studying, late nights partying, in between classes, there are a million things that keep you from your beloved kitchen. Packing a meal will at least help cut down costs.
Packing food is all about strategy. Think of how many hours you plan on being out that day. I would usually pack a 200 calorie snack for every 3 hours I would be out. Packing lunch also keeps you from buying unhealthy convienience foods like chips.
¡Article coming soon on good healthy snacks on the go!
- Don´t quit if you mess up. A lot of vegans have a snobby attitude about what it means to be vegan. They act as if slipping up not only makes you not vegan, but worse, makes you a vegan poser. If you´re trying to go vegan that already puts you ahead of most of the population. Heck, just thinking about what you eat puts you ahead! So don´t beat yourself up if you have a bite of someone´s pizza, just keep doing your best at your own pace.